The Daily Show: The Hood, the Bad & the Ugly

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From the March 29, 2012 edition

Along with the usual Republican primary shenanigans, there are two big stories going on right now. Former Vice President Dick Cheney had heart transplant surgery, and there’s the controversial shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.

Dick Cheney getting a new heart is a perfect joke machine — in the organ community the headline is, “Innocent heart sentenced to life in Cheney” — but the Martin story is far more important.

Martin had gone out to buy candy wearing a hooded sweatshirt when 28-year-old neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman saw him, chased him and eventually shot him.

“Zimmerman has not been charged with any crime, and he continues to carry the weapon that killed Trayvon,” said Bill O’Reilly.

How is this guy Zimmerman not charged with anything? How can the guy still have the gun that he shot a kid with?

“Zimmerman is not under arrest, in part because of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law,” CNN reported.

The law says a citizen who feels threatened “has no duty to retreat” and, in Florida, is immune from criminal or civil action. How can a state have that law and spring break?

Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s pass a law that says anyone who feels threatened doesn’t have to retreat, then invite thousands of drunken frat guys to town.

By the way, I seem to recall a slight complication for Zimmerman’s “stand your ground” defense. When he called 911, the dispatcher told Zimmerman to not follow Martin, yet he did anyway. Does Florida also have a “move your ground” law?

One way that people around the country have demonstrated solidarity for the Martin family’s push for a thorough investigation and for justice was by donning hoodies. It’s an effective and moving gesture when done by ordinary citizens or the Miami Heat basketball team.

We’ll probably never know exactly what happened that night in Florida. But clearly if this newfound focus and attention forces a thorough investigation of this tragic incident, we’ll all be better off.

In fact there’s only been one group of people so far who’ve weighed in that have thoroughly missed the point of the implications of this terrible event.

“Members of the Black Panther Party are offering a $10,000 bounty for the capture of George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin,” reported CNN.

The only way to bring this lone vigilante to justice is a vigilante mob!? Among all this shooter claptrap on the cable news networks, a voice of reason has emerged.

“I believe that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain, should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law, and if he is criminally liable he should be prosecuted. But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. The hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman,” said Geraldo Rivera.

Okay, maybe there are two instances of people who’ve clearly missed the point.